Meet the Anderson Family. This is their story of how the Easterseals Champions for Children Program has made a difference in their lives.
“Sarah, Lana and I wanted to let you all know how thankful and blessed we are for the support you have given us over the past year. When Sarah and I decided to adopt a child with special needs we had no idea about some of the challenges that we would face. Our sweet baby girl was born with multiple health complications to include spina bifida, clubbed feet, hip dysplasia, kidney disease, lung disease and heart complications. She almost pasted away in China due to renal failure and sepsis but thank God some volunteer families and nurses from around the world raised enough money to get her life saving medical treatments. This kept her alive long enough until we could adopt her. Immediately when we returned from China with her, we had to schedule an array of doctor’s appointments with over seven specialists. Over the course of this past year we made 29 trips to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta; which is a three hour drive away from where we live in Albany, GA. In addition to this it was also discovered that she had a life-threatening lung condition that could only be treated in Cincinnati, OH. After going through two major surgeries in Atlanta, GA to get her spinal cord and feet corrected; she now faced a major operation on her lungs that would require her to be admitted into the hospital for a month. She still faces two more major operations on her kidneys and hip but she is doing miraculously well considering the state she was in before. If you were to see her in person what you would see is a beautiful child full of spirit and life with a bright future. It has been remarkable to see the transformation she has made and the champions program has played a big part in this journey with us. For families like us who are single income middle class this is the only program available to offset some of the major expenses we face with our child’s health conditions. Even with health insurance we still faced tens of thousands of dollars in out of pocket expenses and this is after spending every dime we had on a $34,000 adoption process. If it wasn't for the Easterseals Champions program we would be in a financial crisis right now. Every child deserves a chance for life and it is sad that there are not more programs like this one to assist middle class families who face the financial burden of caring for children with special needs. The number one reason why middle-class families choose not to adopt a child with severe special needs is the lack of financial means to do so. We are still recovering financially from this amazing journey; but knowing that the champions program is there gives us hope to maybe adopt another child with special needs in the near future. So, investing in programs like Easterseals Champions is investing in a child’s life and every child deserves a chance at life.”